SaaS software users suffer overload as skills gap widens

A widening digital skills gap, SaaS overload, and fractured software experiences are holding back employee productivity at work, according to new research

Around four in every five software users say they lack the expertise to use the digital tools required to do their jobs, according to new research.

Digital adoption platforms company Whatfix released a new report with corresponding survey data this week that revealed 78 per cent of software users lack the training and expert knowledge to use the applications required in their jobs. Additionally, one-third of the respondents said they received only an hour of training and onboarding when using new software. 

The survey of software end users uncovered a widening digital skills gap, SaaS overload, and fractured software experiences that harm employee productivity in digital workplaces. 

The latest data from Whatfix highlights the enterprise challenges created by poor digital adoption practices and the growing importance of end-user training and self-service support to adapt to increasingly digital workplaces. In the survey of more than 1,110 software users, 93 per cent of respondents said they use at least three software applications to do their job effectively while 50 per cent said they require at least six.

With each application having a different user experience (UX) and associated learning curve, software users reported losing 26 per cent of their productivity as a byproduct of SaaS overload and fractured software experiences. Accounting for the volume of different software tools used in businesses today, 84 per cent of software users reported not knowing how to use all the software features and workflows they're supposed to. Alarmingly, 78 per cent of survey respondents also said they have difficulties simply locating software training and help documentation.

"The enterprise software, SaaS applications, and digital tools ubiquitous in business today are great enablers of innovation, productivity, and success,” says Khadim Batti, CEO and Co-Founder, Whatfix. “However, there is an inherent weakness in deploying these tools together and at a scale that grows more pronounced if software users are not enabled with the digital dexterity to learn how to use them to their full potential.

"The pandemic and resulting digital transformation efforts thrust these tools into the hands of software users, but businesses must also look to maximise their investments to reap real benefits. Userization, which involves putting software users first and technology second, is the key to helping employees adapt to this new way of working."

Whatfix identified a number of key trends they say organisations can use to enhance their digital adoption practices: 

Providing Integrated Application Experiences

A total of 85 per cent of software users rely on multiple applications to complete their daily tasks and workflows. As a result, they must contend with multiple complex product interfaces and learning curves. Creating integrated, consistent application experiences using a digital adoption platform seamlessly connects these workflows, providing a complete end-to-end experience for users.

Creating Inclusive Software Experiences 

Just over half - 51 per cent - of software users surveyed reported their companies did not provide role-based onboarding and training when implementing new software. Adopting inclusive software experiences can accommodate needs and preferences for tailored user interfaces and role-based experiences that empower them to be more effective in their jobs.

Focusing on Outcome-Based Adoption Strategies 

A total of 31 per cent of software users reported receiving an hour or less of training for the applications they use daily. To improve the effectiveness of this training, digital adoption strategies must adapt and expand their user onboarding, continuous learning, and self-service support experiences to accommodate a variety of outcome-based, needs-based, and role-based use cases that enables each unique user or customer with the learning and support flows they need to find true value from their software stack.

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